The Big Interview: ‘We don’t pause any more when people ask us who we work for. We’re very proud of our work’ – Niall Gleeson, chief executive, Irish Water

The engineer expected a challenge when he took the top job in the controversial utility, but he has relished the ‘fantastic opportunity to modernise the water system’

Niall Gleeson, chief executive of Irish Water: ‘If I’m honest, I could see it was probably going to be one of the most challenging jobs in Europe in terms of infrastructure and custome delivery.’ Picture: Fergal Phillips

When Niall Gleeson started with Irish Water three years ago, one of the first things he noticed was that staff were often reluctant to reveal who they worked for.

“We’d be getting a taxi across town for a meeting or something and the taxi driver would ask who we worked for. And there would be a pause because people would be reluctant to say,” he recalls.

“I knew that was something the team had to ...